Spring Clusters

Good morning everyone! I’ve been more-or-less away from blogging for a couple of weeks, just popping in occasionally while we had a week of meetings at our church and I’ve had a few medical appointments to get through, but now I’m ready to get back into life’s normal routine.

It’s a cloudy Monday morning here where we live, and yesterday was the first day of spring, so I decided to celebrate the new season by changing my Header image. The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is CLUSTER so I searched on Pixabay for a nice cluster of snowdrops. I came across this picture of crocus, another spring flower. Doesn’t this make a nice soft, seasonal Header?

And here’s the cluster of snowdrops I found. They’re such hearty little flowers, braving the chill to pop up in early spring despite the snowy ground around them.

Image by pasja1000 — Pixabay

We’ve had about five days of spring that did a lot to reduce our whiteness, and yesterday we got a soft steady rain to further reduce the shrinking snowbanks. So nice to see water in the ditches again — a good beginning for replenishing our water table, so drought-stricken last year. However, endeavoring to chip away at the ice buildup on our sidewalk Thursday, I strained my right knee and am still hobbling a bit while it recovers.

I was feeling quite tired in January — an abnormal fatigue, I decided — and starting to get night sweats again. So I called the doctor to ask about my last blood test. He confirmed what I suspected: my white cell count is going up again. In other words, my CLL is coming out of remission and making itself felt.

For my newer followers, I was first diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia or CLL in May of 2013 and needed six months of chemotherapy treatment starting in March of 2016. That time I had chemo by IV, but my oncologist says this time she’ll give me pills. Much preferable!

I did a phone-call visit with my oncologist on Thursday and she isn’t very worried yet; the white cell count isn’t that high yet and the other blood counts are quite normal. My family doctor told me last Monday that my lymph nodes are still good. As cancerous lymphocytes build up in the body they tend to cluster in the lymph nodes, which hardens them.

In moments of leisure I’m sewing seven-inch squares of fabric together for blanket tops for our Sewing Circle to use. And reading of course — currently an Austin Freeman Collection of books and short stories written in the early 1900s. The author was a doctor himself and didn’t skimp on medical details as his main character, Dr Thorndyke, solved mysteries by clever forensics. Just finished THE EYE OF OSIRIS, which was compelling in spite of long details about the human skeletal structure.

Stumbling around YouTube yesterday, searching for books by D E Stevenson, I came across the channel of a woman who was recommending her favorite books by Scottish authors and/or stories set in Scotland. Books by Josephine Tey, O George, Nancy Mitford, Jean Shaw, Alexander McCall Smith. She gave them such good reviews — now I have more books on my “TO READ SOMEDAY” list!

I’ll leave you now with a few more CLUSTERS to inspect.

A cluster of blue butterflies –image by Hans Braxmeier
And a cluster of Christmas cookies –image by Jill Wellington.

17 thoughts on “Spring Clusters

    1. Thanks for your comment. If the disease progresses like it did the last time, my white cell count will slowly continue to climb. My diagnosis isn’t so terrible though, because the doctors do have treatments for my condition, thankfully. Right now the most noticeable symptoms are the fatigue and the sweats — which aren’t only night sweats, but occasionally through the day as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Research is changing the treatment game almost daily isn’t it. That’s a really great thing. White cells are lymphocytes and phagocytes right? The bone marrow produces those with library of diseases and viruses built in so they can cleanse the body like little soldiers. Here’s hoping yours stay nice a stable now.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve been astounded by the various treatments medical research has developed. One of the drugs I got last time turns off the mechanism that controls the white cells’ ability to divide as they usually do. A healthy white cell can turn this switch back on and carry on dividing and thus multiplying as usual. A cancerous cell, however, cannot, so these diseased cells can’t multiply. Amazing that a drug can be so targeted!

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Thanks for your comment. Actually, doctors and medical men of old usually weren’t considered witches, because they relied on the science they knew — faulty though it may have been at times. As to the native medicine men or witches, those people were trying to cure partly by sorcery, by appealing to or appeasing spirits. However, superstitions ran high and some genuine herbalists were branded as witches because no one understood that a certain herb could cure someone. Once the plant’s curative properties were proven, the herb became part of folk medicine.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Lovely! Take care of that knee and I hope the white blood cell count is brought under control.
    We are finally seeing lots of grass – I actually have only two small clumps of snow left on my front lawn. The back is another story!
    Can’t wait to start seeing crocus et al…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I love birds songs!!! Such a cheery thing.

        Our culvert finally let go yesterday. Of course, it snowed again, but looks like the sun will come out shortly so hoping it’ll melt some again. We have snow piles that’ll be here for quite some time, though. Quite a winter here, freezing rain & all.

        Liked by 1 person

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